Louis Coste, Hal's third great-grandfather, arrived as a Huguenot immigrant from Montpelier, France, in the late 18th century and became a naturalized citizen in 1808. He and his wife, Lucinda Mackey, had three sons, among them Napoleon L. Coste, who went on to have a long and adventurous career in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. That included expeditions with naturalist James Audubon, and the placement of many of the lighthouses and other aids to navigation along the east coast. His most famous deed was at the outbreak of the Civil War when Coste commandeered the revenue cutter, William Aiken, and turned it over to the state of South Carolina. Hal recounts other significant events in the life of N.L. Coste, as well as his son, Napoleon Edward, who also served the Confederacy and later the Revenue Cutter Service. Hal next recounts his memories of his grandfather, Vincent O. Coste, who served in the U.S. Lifesaving Service, which joined with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the U.S. Coast Guard. Vincent later commanded the Coast Guard station on Sullivan's Island. Hal next speaks of the lives of his mother and father, before detailing his own time on the island. These include his mayonnaise meal in kindergarten, his learning to swim in the creek behind the island, and especially his passion for surfing. Before ending with his general feelings regarding changes that have occurred on Sullivan's Island, Hal explains and displays the two silver life-saving medals from the Coast Guard that hang on his walls, one for Hal's own actions and one for the incredible story of his great-uncle, James Coste, who in 1898 saved a young man who would turn out to be the grandfather of Charleston's long time mayor, Joe Riley.
5" X 7" image of Fort Sumter. Close up of exterior wall with sign reading: Cable Crossing // Do Not Anchor. A cannon and a mortar are set up with cannonballs. The lighthouse is visible in the background. Two men are standing at the doorway. One man (on right) is in uniform [Coast Guard], the other is wearing a suit, tie and overcoat.
Postcard photograph measuring 5 1/2" X 3 1/2" of Ft. Sumter. Shows fort with lighthouse and large building. Handwritten on reverse: 'Fort Sumter, Charleston S.C., 44' [#44 in series on Charleston parks and monuments].